For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation; This is my resting-place forever; here I will reside, for I have desired it. Psalm 132:13-14Where does the Lord dwell? Are there places where we feel his presence more keenly? Is that "sacred" place really a place where God dwells more often or is it a place of memory of God's presence?
In other words, are there places where God chooses to dwell, and we notice him there, or do we notice God more often at places where we have found him before?
I knit. I was at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference this summer and sat behind a woman who was knitting. I asked her about it, and she told me it was a prayer shawl. We were there during worship, so I said, "I know this sounds strange, but I feel like when I knit in worship that I'm knitting into my project the praise and power of the feeling of worship -- I'm knitting in the worship."
She agreed with me. She also told me that a friend of hers was knitting a prayer shawl during a contentious meeting at her church. After it was over, the friend unknit the portion that had been completed during the knitting because she didn't want the anger and fighting to be part of her completed shawl.
I get that. I also know that the knitted project is just yarn and that worship and anger can't be knitted into it. Even so, I know that when I pick up a pair of socks I knitted on vacation, that I remember the vacation -- the relaxation, the company. The object triggers the memories.
Is it the same with a location? Can the memories of an encounter with God inhabit a location so much that we believe God dwells in that place? Does God make himself known more often in a certain place because he knows we are listening more in that place?
What makes a place sacred?